Reporting Rick Dayton
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Apparently, no truer words have been spoken when it comes to stink bugs.
Action now may prevent much larger problems later this summer.
“Winter’s over, temperatures are rising, so, whether the stink bugs were hibernating in your attic, in your basement, in your garage, in your sheds, in a cage somewhere – they are coming out of hibernation and all the stink bugs are coming back outside,” Andy Amrhein from Evey True Value Hardware said.
The fact that last winter was so mild actually means the summer of 2012 was relatively light for stinkbugs.
“That’s why we had a mild season with the insects. They never really went into full hibernation, so a lot of them died off in it because they didn’t have the food because they weren’t hibernating because it didn’t get cold enough, wet enough, snowy enough,” Amrhein said.
However, after all the snow and cold of this winter, the bugs are back and the first week or two of April is the ideal time to put out the traps.
Andy’s favorite is made by Rescue and uses scent lure to pull in the bugs. He said the sooner the better.
“Every female stink bug, one stink bug is going to lay — through the course of spring time — 400 eggs,” Amrhein said.
The traps must go in trees, bushes or vegetation, where the bugs can literally walk in, can’t escape and dehydrate.
“After those eggs hatch, those the nymph, the baby stink bugs. They aren’t going to fly for quite a few months, so another reason to put the traps into trees and vegetation is so even the babies can crawl up into the trap,” Amrhein said.
Check your traps a couple times a week and empty them as they get full. Two or three traps should be plenty for a quarter-acre lot. Also, make sure spider webs don’t block the mouth of the trap. People with severe bug problems may have to empty traps every day.
Sprays are now on the market as well.
“What I like the sprays for is preventing them come fall from getting back into your house,” Amrhein said.
Unlike wasp or hornet spray, Amrhein said these won’t kill stink bugs immediately, but they are great for killing the bugs trying to get back into your house.
“As they crawl through the chemical, it is pretty much killing them rapidly because it is absorbed into their skeleton a lot quicker than trying to spray it on the back,” Amrhein said.
The Rescue traps sell for about $20 and never wear out.
The scent packs can be replaced for $10 and typically last about two months.